All Decked Out – Choose the Best Deck (and Finish) for Your OBX Home

March 8, 2017
Posted: Xpert Team
Categories: Blog

Xpert home services deck remodel and finishing

Having outdoor living spaces is more than a fad or a trend, it is how we live today.   There is nothing better than enjoying an ice cold beverage while lounging on the deck.  Summer season in the Outer Banks is just around the corner.  Check out the deck design ideas to provide more outdoor spaces to enjoy the cool sea breezes of summer.  Make sure you comply with your town building permit requirements before building a new deck or remodeling an existing deck.

Refinish Existing Deck

If you have an existing deck, but it is looking tired, consider applying a deck finish to revitalize it and extend the life of the deck.  The type of finish can range from clear to semi-solid finishes. A semi-solid finish can transform the whole look of the deck and your home.

Power washing, cleaning and prepping the surface must be done before applying a new finish.  Remember: Eighty percent of the job is the prep work!  Taking short cuts will provide disappointing results.  Clear finishes need to be re-applied each year for best results and to continue to offer protection.  Semi-solid stains can last up to 5 years but are more difficult to apply and require more preparation. 

Of course, any repairs, rotten boards, popped nails and the like should be addressed first. 


Consider how you and your family will use your outdoor space and make a list.  As you consider design alternatives, make sure all the ways you want to enjoy the deck will be satisfied within the design.

You will also need to set a budget and decide if you will hire a professional or DIY. 


A deck does not only have to be located off the living room.  While many homes do have decks with easy access to the living area or great room, this is not the only choice.  Decks off the kitchen are popular and convenient for BBQ’s.  A deck off a bedroom is great for enjoying the morning cup of coffee.

Consider the size and shape of your yard.  You can build a free form deck in a cozy nook in the yard for a quiet retreat. 

A pergola or umbrellas will provide a shady area to enjoy the deck on hot sunny days.  Keep in mind the direction the deck faces to make sure you will get the most enjoyment out of it. 


Make sure the deck you design is in proportion to your home and yard for general appeal.  Take note of the activities you will engage in on the deck to make sure there is enough space.  Take the time to do a mock up of the deck with scaled to size furniture, BBQ grill or fire pit.  Make sure there is adequate space around your activity areas for adequate safety.


There are a wide range of decking materials available today.  Sometimes it is ones budget that dictates the material to be used.  The most common material on the Outer Banks is pressure-treated lumber and it is also the most budget friendly.  To get up to 20 years life out of the decking material, make sure to seal it annually.

Composite decking materials are also an option.  They are made from recycled plastic, with adhesive that bonds the wood and plastic together.  They come in a multitude of colors and do not require the ongoing maintenance of periodic refinishing.  They are however, more costly than other options.

There are many exotic woods you can choose from like, redwood, tigerwood, mahogany and cedar.  The exotic woods tend to be almost as expensive as composite materials but will also require maintenance.  Some harder woods will also require pre-drilling when installing the deck; so the time and cost to install will increase.

Deck Designs


Nothing says summertime like eating outside on the deck.  From simple dining table and chairs to a full blown built in grill and outdoor kitchen, there is no limit to what you can create.  If you are building a deck with a lot of equipment, make sure it is engineered to handle the increase in weight.

Hot Tub

A hot tub on the deck invites you to relax at the end of the day.  What a great way to sooth aching muscles and unwind.  The deck for a hot tub must also be engineered for the extra weight of the tub especially when filled with water.  Make sure you consider access to the guts of the tub for maintenance and repairs.  While most hub tubs in the Outer Banks sit on top of the deck, you can also design them to be sunk into the deck or add interest using multiple deck levels.

Widows Walk

A widow’s walk built at the highest point of the house provides a great vantage point for a home located with a view.

Sun Lovers Perch

A private area to sunbath is another way to enjoy your deck.  Think chaise lounges, with thick cushions and a cold beverage on the side table with the latest magazine.

Outdoor Living Room

You can outfit your deck to be additional living space.  Deck furniture has come a long way from plastic stackable chairs.  You can get seating groups, tables, and chairs that look great, are very comfortable and resist the elements.

Decks can include built in fans and lighting.  Add accessories, pillows and even an area rug to make an ultra-comfortable space to entertain in.  Add some potted plants to further connect to the outdoors.  You can even add outside heaters to extend the use of your deck into the cooler seasons.

Detached Deck

A deck does not have to be connected to the house to be enjoyed.  Make the deck a destination in your yard.  You can tuck it into a secluded corner or incorporate landscaping materials to create a private area. 


Adding a deck with multiple levels will allow you to set up each space for different purposes.  You could hang a swing or a hammock for a spot to get away from it all.  

Built In’s

Built in benches are convenient in our area as there is less preparation needed when a hurricane threatens the vicinity.  Built in storage on the deck will provide the space to store cushions and other loose materials conveniently.  Think about how you plan to use the deck and build in items like a kitchen, bar, BBQ to create a seamless design.

Xpert Home Services is your local Outer Banks Home Improvement team. We are knowledgeable about the community and are prepared to help provide the right services and advice for your Outer Banks house. Whether you are taking care of your residence, second home, or vacation home, Xpert Home Services has the local knowledge and expertise needed to improve your house. Contact us today to discuss decking alternatives for your home on the Outer Banks or get an estimate for staining or sealing your deck to enjoy it for years to come.  Just need to tidy up?  Call us for pressure washing and get ready for spring!